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Paris Junior College could take a nearly $2 million financial hit over the next two years if some in the legislature get their way.
Senate Bill 1, an appropriations bill for 2014-2015, cuts $894,000 a year for the biennium from state funding that was already cut in the last legislative session. There’s also a House bill with much lesser cuts,
Dr. Pam Anglin, PJC president, told the Board of Regents on Tuesday.“It’s going to mean cut positions, higher tuition (if it passes),” Anglin said. “I think there will be a balance.”
She said there’s no way to tell how it will settle out until the Legislature finalizes the details. It often comes down to the wire, she said.
“We usually don’t know until the 31st of May,” she said. “You’re trying to put a budget together for the next year, and you don’t know what you’re going to end up with.”
The last funding legislation also cut health insurance by 38 percent and retirement by 48 percent.“It’s starting to hurt,” Anglin said.
In addition to that, Anglin said a rider on the Senate bill would require PJC pay nearly $200,000 for money the Legislature did not fund for the Teacher Retirement System. PJC felt the move was unconstitutional, and did not cover the shortfall in the state’s side of funding. The amendment would withhold about $200,000 over the next two years if the college did not ante up for the past shortfall.
“It’s like they’ve got us down, and they’re kicking us,” Anglin said. “Community colleges are kind of like Rodney Dangerfield – we get no respect.”
Another bill under consideration could do away with waivers for the required bacterial meningitis vaccine. The shot can cost more than $150, Anglin said, but PJC has been able to grant waivers from the requirement. No more waivers would likely mean a drop in enrollment as students could not afford it.
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